Human; Roman Rhetoric; The Summons; Father’s Day 2010

1.  I finished my required reading of Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period: 330 B.C.-A.D. 400.  The following is from Ronald Hock’s essay, “The Rhetoric of Romance”:

…the consequence of mastering the three branches of oratory is not merely becoming a trained rhetor or even a sophist, but the way of becoming human, as it is only through skill in composing and presenting all three kinds of speeches that a person can give full expression to his soul and hence can be human in the fullest sense of the word.  Given the amount and centrality of speeches in the romances, it therefore becomes clear that their characters…are not only rhetorically adept but human in terms of their rhetorical culture: ready and able to speak eloquently in whatever situation may arise.

I feel most human when I can express myself, and people listen to me.  Unfortunately, I feel that others base my humanity on whether or not I talk in certain situations—if I’m quiet (which I tend to be), then I must not be human.  But I am human, since I have a self, feelings, thoughts, and reactions.

2.  I read more of G.A. Kennedy’s New History of Classical Rhetoric.  Here are three things that I learned:

—Greeks required people to defend themselves in court, whereas the Romans allowed defendants to be represented by patrons, who were not paid for their services.

—Cicero tended to speak at the top of his voice, with tension in his entire body, but that kind of fervency was ruining his health.  And so he learned from the Greeks how to control his voice and repress the “excesses of his style”.

That reminds me of Bill Clinton during his 1992 campaign.  He was speaking a lot, and he lost his voice.  My speech teacher said this was because Clinton spoke relying primarily on his vocal cords; for her, he should speak from his diaphram.

—The Romans didn’t write their speeches and memorize them; what we have of their written speeches was composed after their delivery.  But the Romans did use mnemotic devices to recall things while they were speaking.  They divided what they needed to remember into scenes, and associated them with pictures.

3.  At church this morning, I sang a beautiful hymn, called The Summons.  The following stanza is my favorite:

Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me? 

I like the ideas of loving the not-so-pretty me that I hide, and of not being afraid.  The third line teaches me that, even if I have difficulty loving people and having faith, whatever faith I do have can inspire me to make the world a better place, in some capacity.

4.  Today is Father’s Day!  A few days ago, I watched the 1985 two-part Family Ties episode, “Remembrances of Things Past”.  Steven had always argued with his dad, who was cheap and ultra-conservative.  When Steven’s dad, Jake, wouldn’t get his family a TV, Steven told his brother, Rob, “He’s so cheap!  I wish he wasn’t my father.”  When Steven saw his dad’s hurt face, he apologized, and he cried about saying that years later.

But Steven’s dad did get his family a TV, and it was touching to see Steven take a puff out of his father’s pipe while watching Milton Berle, right before he handed the pipe to his father, who put his arm around him.

In another flashback, Steven’s father, mother, and brother are dressed up, preparing to see Jake’s mom on a Sunday. Steven comes into the living room with a T-shirt and jeans.  He refuses to go.  He says that he worked all week, that he wants to take it easy on Sunday, and that he’ll see grandma the next day.  Jake asks him, “Will you say no to your own father?”  But, in the end, he doesn’t spank Steven.  He just says, “Are you from another planet or somethin’?”

Happy Father’s Day!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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2 Responses to Human; Roman Rhetoric; The Summons; Father’s Day 2010

  1. Catholics Have different beliefs and i understand But All god wants from you is to love him and

    The biggest problem with Catholics, of course, is their perversion of Scripture. The Catholics laugh at the idea of the Bible as the infallible Word of God;

    indeed, I once had a papist literally spit in my face when I suggested this. Instead, the papists like to pick and choose parts of Scripture that they like, ignoring much of what remains, and they like to just make things up to fit their ridiculous

    cultist rituals. In fact, the papist Bible consists of several “extra books” — written by papists — to justify their lifestyle. One of these books (“Bel and the Dragon”) was written as late as 1933 by Bishop Robert Flanagan, an obvious Irishman. And this is supposed to be the infallible Word of God? The mind boggles. (And what kind of name is “Bel and the Dragon” for a book of the Bible? This is Scripture .. not Harry Potter!)

    But I’m not going to spend my time in this article talking about Scriptural perversions. These are well-documented and have been discussed for centuries. I could spend hours upon hours debunking Catholic cultism (incorrect personification of Christ, statue worship, papal deification, salvation through works, etc.) but it would be time spent doing something that has been done by others. Instead, I want to spend some time discussing the societal problems that result from Catholicism. I intend to demonstrate that papism has had a profound negative impact on our society, and that there are very real reasons for wanting to tighten our grip on this dangerous practice.

    So let’s get started, shall we?

    The Mafia, and its assorted organized crime bosses, is nearly exclusively Roman Catholic. In fact, the movie “Godfather, Part III” opens with Al Pacino (who depicts a mob boss) receiving a medal from the Roman church, authorized by the Pope himself. Additionally, the movie also depicts a very close relationship between Vatican and the illegal activities of the Corleone crime family. Mob experts have repeatedly testified that the Godfather movies are extremely accurate portrayals of Mafia life.

    The Romanist religion is heavily supported by Senator John McCain, who is a traitor of epic proportions; this is a man who wants to pass “campaign finance reform” as the first step towards repealing the First Amendment and banning free speech. It is widely believed that McCain’s assaults on free speech are to support the efforts of papists who want to make it illegal to write the truth about Catholicism. McCain has also supported a so-called “patient’s bill of rights”, which is legislation whose sole intent is to put HMOs out of business so that they can be replaced with government-controlled entities. “By your friends shall ye be known,” as the saying goes. If McCain is a friend of Catholicism, what does that say about these people?

    Papists are drunks. The local Catholic priest here has a saying: “I’ve never met a Catholic that didn’t love God, a good drink, and a good fight.”

    (This is coming from a Romanist, you understand!) It sums up, in a rather succinct manner, the chemical dependency that Catholics have on grain alcohol. If you’ve ever witnessed a Catholic mass, you know that the majority of them are inebriated during worship! Most of them can’t even enter the pew without nearly falling over at the waist. And they spend most of the time kneeling on the floor, presumably because they are too drunk to pull themselves up into a normal sitting position.

    Catholics are required by their Pope to believe in evolution. Frankly, I think it’s absurd to suggest that anybody who has read the Bible and takes it seriously can also accept evolution. The Bible is very specific about how the world was created. Evolution says that the universe just sort of poofed itself into place, and then a bunch of rocks just magically turned themselves into our beautiful Earth, and then there was some magical goo floating in a pond somewhere, and it got hit by lightning, and then all of the beautiful creatures (as well as Mankind) just sort of accidentally evolved. Ridiculous Romanist Rubbish. But then again, I guess if you can believe that salvation can come from works alone, you can believe evolution as well. *rolls eyes*

    The Pope is a politically-correct tool of the liberal left. Every time you turn on the television set these days, you’ll see him in some foreign country or another, apologizing for this or that or “reaching out” to other sects and denominations. This is a man who recently was caught in a Moslem mosque. This type of mindset is typical of the liberalist dogma, the people who love the United Nations and its attempts to topple Christianity in favor of a One World Government. We should not have to apologize to anybody for being right, nor should we have “reach out” to anybody. We are right, and they are wrong. And they are bound for Hell unless they change their ways. We should be witnessing, not capitulating to Mohammadists.

    Yes, by this point you’ve probably guessed: I don’t like Catholics. I consider them to be rosary-swinging, incense-huffing Vaticanites, and I think it’s a shame that they are allowed to sully this country with their execrable dogma and superstitions. The question is: What is to be done about them? Shall we sit back and silently tolerate Roman Catholicism as an “alternative lifestyle”, much the same as we do with other perversions? Or has the time come for people of principle to stand up and defend what is right?

    What is a false religion?

    I believe it is very important that we understand this question. A false religion is one that comes to you in the name of Jesus but does not teach you the whole truth as taught in the bible, or one that comes to you in the name of God even though that “God” is not the one true God. Let’s take a look a few of the major religions and explore the real doctrine that they teach and see if we think they are part of the true church of Jesus Christ. I think you will agree with me that not all religions worship the same God as the promoters of Interfaithism are trying to make us believe.

    But, let me say one thing before we start. I do realize and am very glad that there are many people in the religions listed below that truly love and truly want to please God. And I realize that some “churches” or factions or affiliates of these religions don’t necessarily teach the same doctrine that was originally taught by these religions and may even approach the truth in some ways. Some, like the Mormon church, have broken into different pieces that teach different doctrines, and some, like Islam, have many factions that vary substantially in beliefs and doctrines. The Catholic church also has some variations within it’s organization, although it does have a leader, the Pope, and doctrinal guidance from that leadership. What I am stressing most in this study is that the root of these religions and their beginnings are what you are buying into by being part of that organization. If it did not begin with truth and/or began with a false prophet or false God, it is not of God. If it is not of God, we should not be a part of it even if our particular church or organization teaches doctrine that differs from the original teachings of that faith. We should come out of that and give ourselves to the one true God and follow Him and seek His truth with all our heart.

    Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

    This passage is speaking of the Great Whore, the false church of the end time, and God is telling his people to come out of her! This is a good indication that there are indeed those who truly love Him within those religions, but it’s also clear that if you do not come out of them that you will be considered a part of the whole and will be a partaker of the sins it has committed. Please remember this!

    I think it’s difficult for most of us to know whether we’re following God’s Will or our own in our vocation. However, I believe that through prayer and by studying God’s Will for how we should live, as shown through the example of Jesus, we eventually will push aside our own willfulness and get a glimpse of the direction God would prefer that we travel.

    I feel inadequate to answer this question since I’m not sure I’m doing what God wants me to do. I do know there are certain things I’m supposed to do that I do not do. Scripture says that everything is summed up in the commandment that we love God first, above all else, and that we love other people as we love ourselves. Do that and you fulfill all of God’s requirements (Matthew 36:37-40).

    I used to read those verses and think doing God’s Will was beautifully simple. Then I began to realize what this passage really means. I do not put God first in everything I do. I usually put myself first. That’s exactly the opposite of what we are called to do. Christ is the ultimate example. He, who is Himself also God, put aside everything and was utterly selfless to the point of sacrificing his life for me. Wow. I’m a long way from being able to do that. Yet if I truly loved God with all my heart and soul I would be willing to do so.

    Am I doing what God wants me to do with my life? In some areas, I’m making progress. Working on this Web site is a great blessing. I think God wants me to do things like this. I think God wants me try to know Him better. I find that I really do love God more and more as I learn more about Him. I truly believe God helps me when I try to put Him first.

    “We love Him because He first loved us,” explains the apostle John (1 John 4:19
    , emphasis added throughout). John also tells us, “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (verse 10, New Revised Standard Version). Clearly, it was God’s desire and plan to establish a relationship between human beings and Himself.

    We must keep in mind God’s purpose for creating us. Previous lessons of this Bible study course have extensively covered His purpose and plan for humanity. We learned that God designed human beings to reflect His very character—to be like Him. “In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God” (Genesis 5:1
    ). “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God created him; male and female He created them”


  2. James Pate says:

    I didn’t have the heart to not approve your comment, for you spent so much time writing it. But I disagree with that vast bulk of what you wrote. For one, Bel and the Dragon was not written in the twentieth century. It was written WAY before that! As far as reaching out to other sects goes, I don’t see what’s wrong with that.


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